Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1980 Harold Michaelson Interview

From Issue 30 of Starlog magazine (see the cover and another article here), published January 1980, comes this interview with the production designer of ST:TMP, Harold Michaelson. Michaelson took the existing Mike Minor designs for the new warp core from the planned "Phase Two" series and expanded it vertically to encompass multiple stories, as well as horizontally. The now-familiar design has been the design basis for every new show and movie ship's engineering deck... with the notable exception of the one movie that really could have used it... the recent '09 reboot. The money-saving use of a beer factory as engineering was nearly universally lambasted by fans, and hopes are that the producers of the sequel will listen to fan feedback and give us a real engineering room set, one befitting a big budget.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

"Whatever thou doest, Spock, dost not look up, lest thee seest up the robe of Surak."

The caption for the top photo is in error, as the ship on the design board is actually the air tram and not the Vulcan shuttle.

Bonus: Below, a fun video promoting the Star Trek "Battlestations" slot machine game. Since I don't anticipate ever going to Vegas, and I don't frequent casinos, this is about as close as I'll ever get to this game... but it does look like it would be fun to play. If I ever get rich, I might order one for my game room. The copy promoting the machine is under the video. Go to Youtube to view the video in larger format: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpGN0ixpErU

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"ST:3 The Search For Spock" Effects Article

From issue #28 of Enterprise Incidents (after the format change and national distribution as a sci-fi movie magazine) from April 1985 comes this behind-the-scenes article on the making of the effects for Star Trek 3. I do remember that the anticipation in my mind was much higher for #3 than it was for #2... there seemed to be very little advance publicity for TWOK, except for the furor over the leaked death of Spock. But after the movie was released and so well-received, the fan excitement over the third one seemed to be increased and there was much more in the media about it as it was being made.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

This Kruge miniature was used for the scene where he plunges into the abyss on New Genesis... the cut between the actor and the animated figure was disguised by a flash of lightning.

Ah, the good ol' days of model work.

Below is a detail from the 2-page spread put back together. I didn't want to shrink down the spread by showing both pages connected, so I scanned in the one photo that went across both so you could see it in its entirety. The detail visible on the scale model of the Excelsior is interesting to see, since we didn't get to see it much on screen in the movie.

It was still an ugly ship, though.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1979 Robert Wise Interview

1979 was one of the most exciting years to ever happen for many Trekkers, and especially me. From that heady time comes this interview with director Robert Wise from Issue 30 of Starlog magazine, which came out in December of 1979, bearing the cover date of January 1980. For many, this issue came after they had seen the movie, but since I had to wait until January to sneak off to see it (thanks to my uptight and perpetually-irritated stepfather) this material only stoked my fervor.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

However, the excitement was tinged with worry, as early word leaked out that the movie was less than stellar. We kept on believing, though, and didn't let the rumors dampen our anticipation. This article by Tribbles author David Gerrold from the same issue did worry me, though... fortunately it did earn enough to warrant a sequel, which amped up the action factor.

Bonus: From 1967, a photo of Shatner on a smoke break, from one of the movie-TV gossip magazines.

"I could knock the Marlboro Man right out of his saddle."

Coming soon: the Harold Michaelson interview from this same issue.

Friday, August 5, 2011

They Won't Let Spock Stay Dead

From the Beckley Herald, Friday, June 1, 1984 comes this oddly pictureless article about "The Search For Spock."
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Below, from the same page of the newspaper, the movies playing at the time.

Bonus: below, from the Macon, GA Central High School newspaper, published in 1974, an article by a friend of mine that I met there that year, Clay Weaver. Both being Trekkers and having other similar interests (like "Planet of the Apes" and "Kung Fu" movies) we hit it off immediately, because back then, us Trekkers had to stick together. The button in the photo belongs to him, as does the shirt it's on.